Many of you will know the lovely bloke that is Mr Tom Robinson as a very fine DJ and Britain’s finest champion of new independent music artists through his work on this here blog and of course his array of warm & welcoming Radio shows on the good olde BBC.
For the young tender shoots amongst our ever-growing readers of FOTN you should also know (if you didn’t already) that Tom is one of Britain’s finest singers/songwriters. Tom has walked the walk and talked the talk in the music biz for quite some time and is hugely respected because he’s been there and really knows what he is talking about. Best of all: he is a fantastic music artist.
I write this not because Tom is a colleague on FOTN, oh no that would be too easy and easy options are not for me. I invited Tom to do the Prick & Ding interview because I think his music is very special and wanted to gently remind you how good he is too.
Tom’s voice has a wonderful gravel richness to it, it moves from impassioned hairdryer treatment (aka Sir Alex Ferguson style with punk rock melody) to smooth & soulful in a heartbeat.His songs are photographs from a life well & truly lived. Do yourself a favour and check out his Soundcloud page for a multitude of great songs, with most available as free downloads. I love Tom’s innate ability to deliver punky, funky & chunky songs of character, passion & deep understanding.
I know Tom is in extremely high demand as an award winning broadcaster and panelist at various music industry events and I hope he is able to find time soon to put that wonderful voice to good use in the studio. I think the world would love Tom putting his passion – and dab hand at a hook – to good use with a future release (he is probably secretly beavering away at this as we speak).
I for one would love to hear a stripped back sound where Tom voice is showcased to deliver all his experience of life and it’s challenges. I have yet to meet a more giving individual working in the public eye. This man does so much for so many in the music community for NOTHING, an absolute inspiration musically & professionally.
Find out much more about Tom here with lots of links.
Photo of Tom with Peter Gabriel above was taken during the recording an interview with the good man himself which will go out on Tom’s Saturday night show on 21st July. Tom tells me that he and Peter Gabriel first posed for a photo together in 1978 when they were known as Rob and Gab and co-headlined Hammersmith Odeon together on Xmas Eve 1978 with Elton John guesting on piano !
Tom is a Panellist at Indie-Con in London tomorrow (5th July 2012) for a session called Getting Your Music On The Radio (downstairs at 11.45am). Have a lengthy gander at Tom’s YouTube Channel & his Feeling My Age Photoblog. And you can check out Tom’s music afresh or remind yourself how good it is here.
A wonderful artist & a true gentleman is Tom Robinson – I salute you!!!
1. What are you up to at the moment?
Making plans to go on holiday with the family in France at the end of July to escape the Olympics. Wife refuses to fly shorthaul on ecological grounds so we’re juggling eyewatering Eurostar fares and wrangling with holiday apartment owners in pidgin French at the moment.
2. Favourite childhood memory?
If we count being 16 as childhood, it would be a Sunday afternoon concert at the Savile Theatre in London to see John Mayall, who was bottom of the bill despite having Mick Taylor (future Rolling Stone) and John McVie (future Fleetwood Mac) in his band. But I stayed on after their set to see The Jeff Beck Group – who included the unknown Rod Stewart on vocals and Ronnie Wood on bass. And then on came Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker with their newly-formed Cream and blew all the others offstage with a performance that left me utterly stunned. Definitely the most memorable three hours of my entire childhood.
Wikipedia says my my “idol” is David Bowie – which he definitely isn’t. But back in 1973 he was briefly a hero for my generation of queer kids. Having grown up as a pop fan in the 60s listening to songs about other people’s love lives, Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust were the first records I ever heard that sounded like they might have been about me. Went off him by 1976 though – once he’d renounced bisexuality and started ranting about how “Britain could benefit from a Fascist leader“.
A toss up between Dr Beeching who tried to destroy all our railways and Alastair Campbell who tried to destroy the BBC. Neither succeeded, but they left a huge mess behind them and nothing’s ever been quite the same since.
5. What/who makes you laugh?
Ross Noble, without doubt the funniest, funniest man on the planet. Have watched him live – one man on a stage with one microphone keeping two thousand people helpless with laughter for two hours solid without a script.
6. Describe what you do?
I try to connect interesting musicians who are looking for listeners with listeners who are looking for interesting music.
7. Whose hair would you like to have for just one day?
My own, circa 1977. A full head of hair is something you don’t miss till you start losing it.
8. Best musical experience to date
My 60th birthday party at Shepherds Bush Empire on 1st June 2010. Great bands, fine musicians, decent onstage sound and an appreciative audience. Highpoint: singing “Stand By Me” at the end of the night unamplified at the front of the stage with Shaun Keaveny, Gideon Coe and Steve Lamacq. Accompanied by Al Mobbs and Nick Pini from Hoodlums on two double basses and staff from most of the country’s leading indie labels joining in the choruses. Plus the entire audience on fingersnaps. I’m glad we didn’t record the show – it made the moment more magical: a one-time experience for those who were there on the night.
9. What artist inspires you?
Richard Thompson. The only artist I can think of who has continued working – and made an unbroken line of fine albums – from 1967 to the present day. The blistering fire of his musicianship and sardonic vitriol of his lyrics have only improved with age.
10. What does Fresh On The Net mean to you?
A slightly weird name – after all, shouldn’t it be “Fresh From The Net” or even “Fresh In The Net”. But you get used to weird names after a while until they sound quite normal when you’ve heard or said them enough. The relationship between myself as a broadcaster – and the artists whose music I enjoyed – always used to be mediated by pluggers, managers and minders. It’s wonderful how Fresh On The Net has allowed me to be in direct contact with gifted people whose work I admire, and to personally try and help get their work heard by a wider audience.